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Feb 21, 2017 12:14PM

Free your mind and float: Moline business helps you de-stress, relax


By Ivy Hillman
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Gary Krambeck/gkrambeck@qconline.com
Molly Price owner of Float Quad Cities inside the float room.
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Gary Krambeck/gkrambeck@qconline.com
Molly Price owner of Float Quad Cities inside the float room.
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Gary Krambeck/gkrambeck@qconline.com
Molly Price owner of Float Quad Cities inside the float room.
More photos from this shoot
It was pitch black. I couldn't hear a thing. I slowly became aware of a whooshing sound, which I realized was my breath. I let myself relax.

I lost all sense of time, sense of my body, sense of myself.

And I was floating.

In a room filled with a mixture of 1,100 pounds of Epsom salt and 200 gallons of water, my mind drifted, but I felt stationary as the water and Epsom salt effortlessly held me above the surface. I was able to relax and de-stress, which was my goal.

This is what anyone who visits Float Quad Cities — at 911 16th Ave., Moline — can experience.

The two float rooms sound small, at 8-feet-long and 4 1/2-feet-deep, but in person, they are good-sized rooms. Even I can get a little panicky in tight spaces at times, but the key is to remember "you're always in control of your environment, and you quickly lose track of the walls around you," according to Float Quad Cities' beginner's guide pamphlet.

"Your mind is free to mull things over without distraction, your brain pumps out dopamine and endorphins and your body gets to rest, de-stress and heal," it says.

Floating also can be a method of fighting addiction and chronic pain. Creativity levels can spike during a float — imagine what your mind can come up with when you have absolutely zero distractions. For instance, I wrote part of this story in my head during a one-hour float, and that was just on my very first try.

According to the Float Quad Cities Facebook page, floating benefits include deeper meditation; faster muscle recovery; better sleep; stress reduction; chronic pain relief; inflammation relief; replenished magnesium and improved mental clarity.

Molly Price owns Float Quad Cities and lives on the second floor of the building, which allows some flexibility with its hours. Float is open 8 a.m. to midnight every day, by appointment. A 60-minute float is $69. If you're new to floating, Price offers a buy-two-get-one free offer, which makes each float about $46. There also is a Frequent Floaters Club for $55 per month, which may be shared with family or friends, and extra floats may be purchased for $45 each.

Price decided she wanted to open a float center in the Q-C before even floating herself. "My friend lives in Naperville, and she invited me to go floating at the Anicca Float Club there," she says. "On the drive up there, I was thinking how awesome it was going to be and that we needed one locally so I could float more frequently. Then, I thought, well, I'll just start one."

Price already was planning to quit her job, so a spur-of-the-moment float trip opened up an amazing opportunity for her.

"I just knew it was going to be something so helpful to people," Price says.

Her goal is to first get people to float, and then get them to float again. Everyone's experience will be different, and your first float can be weird.

"Because it is so different, your brain and body will take some time to get used to it. People don't learn to play the piano in one day. You don't typically go to a chiropractor once and expect all your pain to go away," she says. "Float therapy is the same way. It might take people a couple tries before they can completely relax and get to the point of being without light and sound."

There's no need to be concerned about cleanliness when you float. Soaps and towels are provided so floaters can shower before they hop in. The shower is in the same room as the float tank, so there's also no running around without clothes. You also will shower once you are done to rinse the salt off of your skin.

Each float tank has a 1 micron filter to clean the water after every float. You'll hear the filtration system start while you take your post-float shower.

"Because of the high salt content, the water is naturally inhospitable to bacteria. However, the water is also treated with UV light and ozone, as well as dosed with hydrogen peroxide. The water is much cleaner than any public pool or hot tub," according to the Float Quad Cities Facebook page.

After my first shower, I was eager to get into the tank.

After I closed the float door and shut off the lights, I lost track of the walls. I began to feel like I was spinning, though I don't think I was moving. If I bumped a wall and pushed myself off, it felt as though I was floating quickly down a river.

Trippy? Definitely.

I thought of the boat tunnel scene in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."

"Faster, faster, faster, faster; there's no Earthly way of knowing which direction we are going. There's no knowing where we're rowing or which way the river's flowing."

Gene Wilder's voice rang true in my head, but once I was able to relax my neck and shoulders, everything seemed to stop and I was able to just be.

Four days after my first float, I tried it again and my experience was a bit different; I took the most relaxing, silent, revitalizing nap I've ever experienced. I'm not a person who can shut her mind off to go to sleep, but I easily did during my second float.

My post-float shower this time was equally relaxing. Once I got out of the tank, the sensation of floating stayed with me; it took me a minute to realize my body and legs were back underneath me.

Since my first float, I've been able to relax more easily. I take six extra-strength Tylenol every day for chronic shoulder pain, and I made it 10 days without a single pill after I floated. But my ability to let my mind wander for a silent 60 minutes might be my favorite benefit.

"Just be gentle with your body and allow it to just be," Price says. "That's the whole point — to just be there and get in touch with you."

Yes, I'll be floating more.
Ivy Hillman is a page designer for the Dispatch•Argus•QCOnline.








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